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Preparing Raw Food Diet plan questions

This is a dedicated place for all of your questions and answers about Raw Diets. There are also some really cool groups like "Raw Fed" on the topic you can join. This forum is for people who already know they like the raw diet or sincerely want to learn more. Please remember that you are receiving advice from peers and not professionals. If you have specific health-related questions about your cat's diet, please contact your vet!

  


Member Since
01/12/2014
 
 
Purred: Sun Jan 12, '14 4:51am PST 
We're getting a cat in a few months time and we've decided to go forward with a raw diet for him. I find it rather exciting that there is such a strong following among owners and professionals that support this diet.

I've gone through various resources such as articles by veterinarians, YouTube videos and so forth. The things I'm having a hard time grasping is the ratio, diversity of meat, and supplements.

I understand that raw food diet ratio includes: 80% muscle meat, 10% meaty bones, 5% liver, and 5% secreting organs. However some sources say you can only feed liver/heart once a week. Rawfedcats.org states "approximate proportions can and should be fed over time rather at every meal, and the more variety you can include, the better."

I find this odd considering the grinding method (catnutrition.org) would include liver in it's composition for every single meal. Additionally, Catcentric.org provides an excel spreadsheet that calculates the amount of muscle, bone, liver, and organs needed per day.

* Is the ratio meant to be fed overtime through one meal? through one day? or throughout an entire week?

** Also, is it unhealthy to feed only chicken? I was thinking about feeding chicken for most of the week and raw seafood (eg. shrimp, salmon, tilapia, tuna, sardines) for one day of the week. Is that enough diversity of meats? Rabbit is really expensive in the UK and I'd rather not feed meats of non-natural preys such as beef, lamb, or pork.

Lastly, various videos and recipes call for supplements such as Vitamin B-50 complex, Taurine, Vitamin E, bonemeal, egg shells, and salmon oil. The only supplement I thought would be needed on top of the raw food diet was some greens such as wheat/barley/oat grass for them to graze on.

*** What am I suppose to do exactly with supplements? How much do they need? Some articles call for them, some don't, and it really confuses me to what I simply need to feed a healthy cat. I have seen sources cite anything from 100-400mg of Taurine to be added to food per day but Youtube videos show owners providing 1000mg per day on top of feeding 1 heart and a thumb size piece of liver PER MEAL (3-4 times a day). Is that extreme? ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1G7WZzhd3xc )

Sorry for the long post, I hope it was clear. Any thoughts, concerns, suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks for reading! =^_^=
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Sun Jan 12, '14 2:26pm PST 
Let me see if I can help. There are two basic methods of feeding raw - ground raw and Frankenprey. The answers to many of your questions depend a lot on which one you want to feed. Keep in mind that your cat may want to have some say in your decision!

If you're feeding ground raw, you should be buying grinding whole animals (including bones and organs), in which case you don't need to worry about the liver and organ percentages - a whole animal is a complete meal. If you're feeding Frankenprey that's when you need to determine the 5% liver and 5% secreting organ. BK eats Frankenprey and I serve an organ meal twice a week to him. You could do it once a week but it would be a rather large meal for one serving, so I find twice a week is better. Also, an organ meal is very rich and too much at one time could cause soft stool.

If you're feeding ground and supplementing it with vitamins and minerals you can feed a single source of protein like chicken, although variety is recommended. If you're feeding Frankenprey, variety is much more critical because you can't really supplement and variety should provide all the needed nutrients.

Personally, I don't feed fish. I don't trust fish not to have contaminants like mercury which might be toxic to cats because they're so small. Also, a cat raised on a strong smelling protein like fish may refuse other food. It's just my opinion but I would much rather feed a protein that is "non-natural" rather than fish. BK's Frankenprey rotation includes chicken, turkey, rabbit, beef, lamb, pork and venison. Rabbit is expensive but you could always include it as an occasional meal.

If you're feeding ground you should supplement for a couple of reasons. It's unknown how much vitamins/nutrients are lost in the grinding and freezing process and since you're able to add powders and liquids to ground, better to be safe than sorry. The other reason is that if you're serving ground you are probably serving only one or two types of protein. Since you're not providing a lot of variety, it's best to supplement to be sure you've covered everything. I use the ground recipe on catinfo.org. It's relatively easy and complete.

I hope this helps! If you let me know what raw diet you plan to feed I can probably answer more questions.
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Member Since
01/12/2014
 
 
Purred: Mon Jan 13, '14 1:42pm PST 
Thanks for you answers, although I'm still confused since I feel that the whole prey and frankenprey contradict each other.

I guess my plan was more oriented towards the frankenprey model. I would weigh out all the portions of meat/bone/liver/secreting organs that is needed and divide it all up evenly into cups so each day he has those right proportions of meat/bone/liver/kidney. For example, a morning cup could contain muscle meat and liver. An evening cup could contain heart, kidney and some meaty bones.

It would be similar to what this woman is doing in this Youtube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1G7WZzhd3xc), but more precise because I will be weighing the amounts of muscle meat, meaty bones, etc. The amounts would be based off of the Frankenprey Calculator found at catcentric.org. On the spreadsheet it shows the exact amount of whats needed in a daily meal based on percentage of body weight.

Having said that, it would mean that every day's meal would contain liver and I have read on some of the posts here in the Catster forum that you should only feed liver once a week. So, you can't feed liver everyday (even though it's part of the ratio)? As for heart, I've seen on different articles that it is considered a muscle as well as an organ. If heart is considered muscle meat, then is it then ok to feed heart everyday?

Basically I want to make sure that it's okay to feed the 80/10/5/5 ratio on a daily basis (using heart, liver, and kidney) because it'd be more convenient for me to portion them into cups and freeze them by the bulk and have the comfort of knowing that he is having a balanced meal daily.
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Kaylee &- Amelia

Snuggly Sisters!
 
 
Purred: Mon Jan 13, '14 1:56pm PST 
I think you can feed the 5% liver and 5% other organs on a daily basis if you want to. I believe most people do it in a weekly meal or two weekly meals because cutting up the organs for a daily amount is such a tiny amount for most cats. (With my dog, I fed him one weekly meal with liver and one weekly meal with kidney and then the rest of the meals only included boneless and bone-in meats. I did it that way because he was so small and I didn't want to cut up tiny slivers of organ). Whichever method you choose, remember to start with very small amounts as organs as rich in nutrients and can cause loose poop.

Heart counts as a meat, not an organ, and it is very high in taurine, so if you plan to include it regularly, I do not think additional taurine supplementation is required. I think it can be included several times a week, but BK would be a better person to answer that.
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 14, '14 3:37am PST 
In theory, whole prey and Frankenprey are the same thing. All you're doing is mimicking what a cat would eat if he caught a mouse or bird, without actually feeding a whole animal.

Your method is fine. In fact, it's great. I think that what most of us have found, as Kaylee mentioned, is that it's quicker and easier to make single meals out of everything - a bone-in meal, a muscle meat meal, a liver/organ meal. Your preparation is going to be a little more time consuming, that's all. It's a great method and feeding a little liver every day is fine.

Heart is considered muscle meat, not organ. It's another meat that is very rich, so small amounts every day is ok, whole meals of it too often can cause soft poop.

Bottom line, the answer to your question is that the way you're suggesting the meal preparation is great. It's just not the easiest way. I would start with daily proportioning, by all means. As you get more comfortable with raw feeding you may find some shortcuts that won't affect the cat's diet or health.

One more thing worth mentioning - all this planning may be for naught! The best intentions don't always mean your cat will eat the way you want him to. Although BK insists on Frankenprey, his sister Callie will only eat ground raw. Of course you can try to convert a cat, but he's going to have some say in your decision! I would not invest a ton of money in raw meat until you have the cat. Then I would convert him slowly. Unless of course you're getting a ravenous kitten - then all bets are off, mol.
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Member Since
01/12/2014
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 14, '14 5:40am PST 
Ah, that cleared everything up for me, BK. Thanks so much again for taking the time to respond.

You're both right. Perhaps making every single meal to include the 80/10/5/5 ratio would be too time consuming and rather difficult especially when he is smaller.

I think we'll probably portion the ratio over the week but randomly place the bits into the pots so that the meals are never just of one thing. We will also give some salmon oil and 500mg of Taurine per day to replace what is lost during the freezing process, and, treat him every week to one raw egg yolk with some broken egg shells for extra nutrients and calcium.

We will be getting him as a 12-13 week kitten so hopefully all this planning has been for naught. I don't think it's ever a waste of time to learn about their dietary needs. But fingers crossed, I hope he gobbles everything up!

kitty

Edited by author Tue Jan 14, '14 5:44am PST

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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 14, '14 8:43am PST 
Ah, a kitten! The good news is that most kittens take to raw very quickly and there should be little to no learning curve with the bones and a variety of meats. This will make your job easier. With a little time to build up jaw strength you'll be on your way. The bad news is how much kittens eat, mol.
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Member Since
01/12/2014
 
 
Purred: Mon Jan 27, '14 8:39am PST 
Hey BK, I saw on another forum that you had a Raw Diet plan for those with CKD. Do you mine sharing it with me so I can refer to it in the future? I've got a few kitty friends around town. Thanks!
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 28, '14 1:43pm PST 
It's a ground raw recipe, is that what you're looking for? Can you message me about it please?
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